Before I get into this post I need to be honest….we haven’t had many people over since living in a travel trailer, but I’m trying to do better. Today I have a few ideas that might help any of you living in tight quarters who still want to have people over.
Keep it Simple
You don’t have to serve a fancy 5 course meal. In fact, if you don’t have room to all sit at a table, I find it nice to serve something that doesn’t need a lot of cutting or is particularly messy. Finger foods are great, like sandwiches, hamburgers or hot dogs.
Don’t be afraid to serve the food in the same dish you cooked it in, this can save you on dishes and keep your counters less cluttered.
Make as Much Ahead as Possible
This is nice, not just because you then get to spend more time with your guests, but also if your food is prepared ahead of time, you can have the dishes washed and kitchen cleaned up before they come, allowing you to use that counter space for a buffet. Crock pots are great for this! Just serve a dish in the crock pot and a couple of sides!
Grilling outside won’t heat up your little house, and if you have a yard or balcony it might give you more space. We had our small group Bible study at our house a couple of weeks ago. We let the kids play in the house and watch a movie, while we all sat outside. It ended up being perfect weather for being outdoors!
Don’t Serve a Full Meal
If making a full meal for a group of people seems daunting just have them over for coffee and dessert. This also can be less informal, so you can sit on couches and not be crowed around a little table.
Having people over doesn’t just have to be for a meal, it might be for a craft play date or hosting a Bible Study at your house.
Don’t Have Everybody at Once
As fun as it might be to invite all of your besties at once…if you’re in a small space it just might not be practical…but you might still be able to have a few people over at a time.
Host Somewhere Else
We had Gracia’s 3rd birthday party at a park. Even though it wasn’t at our house, I was still able to act as hostess and had a lot of fun putting it together. Because of all the space at the park I was able to invite all of Cameron’s relatives.
There’s a million ways to creatively make everybody fit…and fit comfortably, so just keep an open mind. One idea is to put a blanket on the floor to make an indoor picnic for the kids.
Just do it
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I haven’t been very good at having people over, but I want to do better. I’ve never regretted the times that I went ahead and invited people. Even if I was worried about what they thought of us living in a travel trailer or that they’d be freaked out about driving into a trailer park, nobody has said anything negative yet, and I always end up enjoying our time together.
At the end of the day your guests probably won’t care if your house is perfect or if you had the table set super fancy or even if they had to sit on the floor…what they’ll care most about is that you took the time and effort to have them over and spend time with them!
The most people we’ve had over for a meal at once was 10 people (2 of them were under the age of 3). It was Cameron’s family. We grilled out then everyone just sat wherever they wanted, because it was just family we were super informal about it and it was a really good time!
This post is linked at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.